ABILENE — Linebacker Ryder Cude is one of 17 Munday seniors facing the same reality.
The next game could be the last. Even though the Moguls are state title favorites, nothing is guaranteed once December arrives in the high school football playoffs.
But Munday left no doubts Saturday afternoon as it continued its march toward a return trip to Cowboys Stadium, scoring 59 first-half points with its trademark barrage of big plays against Hamlin in a 66-13 blowout in the Region II-A Division II semifinals.
"We were really flying to the football today. We know if we play to the best of our abilities, we'll do a lot of good things," said Cude, who had two fumble recoveries. "You just have to come out here thinking this could be my last day to play, so I have to play my very best."
The No. 1 Moguls (12-0) will face Albany (11-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Clyde for the regional title. Munday led by as many as 41 points in winning the teams' first matchup this season, 55-28.
Munday forced Hamlin into eight turnovers, including two interceptions Jake Myers returned for touchdowns. Pied Piper quarterback Taylor Lambert was often under pressure in finishing 11 for 27 for 140 passing yards and four picks.
Those Hamlin miscues — which included fumbling the first snap of the game — helped give Munday good field position for much of the first half, not that it mattered considering the Moguls' explosiveness on offense.
Munday scored on seven of its 17 offensive plays, which totaled 338 first-half yards. The Moguls had four one-play scoring drives and two two-play touchdowns against the Pied Pipers (9-4).
At one point, Munday scored on three straight offensive snaps. Dee Paul threw a 55-yard touchdown to Roddrick Taylor; a 24-yard score to L.J. Collier; and then the senior quarterback finished up a 31-point first quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run.
Taylor found the end zone four times in the first half, including 124 yards and three touchdowns (6, 60, 38) on the ground.
"We came out and executed from the first snap and came and played our game," Taylor said. "I'm extremely happy with how we played."
With Munday's offense scoring almost at will, it's easy to overlook an aggressive defense that covered the whole field. But that unit shined at Wylie's Bulldog Stadium, too.
Hamlin did put together a nice 69-yard with the wind in the second quarter, converting a long fourth down and getting on the scoreboard with Darrius Lee's 2-yard touchdown.
The Pied Pipers even recovered the ensuing onside kick. But two plays later, Collier tipped Lambert's pass into the air, and defensive lineman Xzavier Bulliner made a nice snag for his first interception of the season.
Myers had Munday's only points in the second half by returning an interception 13 yards to the end zone.
"I just read my keys, and the ball just came right to me. The defense came out and executed," Myers said. "We didn't really do what we wanted to on that one (scoring) drive, but we still held them to 13 points, which is real good."
At some point, there will probably come a time when the offensive starters will have to play more than two quarters (Munday's defense played for much of the third).
Munday coach Patrick Corcoran expects that to be the case next week against the traditional power Lions.
"We do a lot of just running, we don't condition through the tempo of our practice," Corcoran said when asked if he's concerned with his starters getting so few snaps. "I think when that time comes, we'll be just fine. And I expect that type of effort from Albany."
Hamlin 0 6 7 0 — 13
Munday 31 28 7 0 — 66
M — Roddrick Taylor 6 run (Taylor run), 10:45
M — Taylor 55 pass from Dee Paul (Paul run), 6:18
M — L.J. Collier 24 pass from Paul (Tyrone Dockins run), 4:05
M — Paul 35 run (Ryder Cude kick), 2:32
M — Taylor 60 run (Cude kick), 10:53
M — Jake Myers 46 interception return (Cude kick), 8:41
H — Darrius Lee 2 run (Josh Ford kick), 2:57
M — Dockins 28 run (Cude kick), 1:43
M — Taylor 38 run (Cude kick), 0:51
M — Myers 13 interception return (Cude kick), 8:31
H — Tyrone Johnson 22 run (Ford kick), 0:32
First downs 17 10
Rushes-Yards 43-172 28-244
Passing 140 107
Comp-Att-Int 12-27-4 3-5-1
Punts 4-25.8 4-30.3
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 1-1
Penalties-Yards 6-31 7-59
RUSHING: (M) Roddrick Taylor 7-124; Dee Paul 2-67; Tyrone Dockins 3-36; Alfonso Nunez 8-12; Jake Myers 1-4; Zach Edgar 2-2; Trey Stinnett 5-(-1); (H) Tyrone Johnson 9-72; Darrius Lee 18-57; Tyler Lambert 7-20; River Hall 3-15; Dusty Hall 4-3; Cedar McIlwain 1-3; Cayman Georges 1-2.
PASSING: (M) Paul 3-4-1, 107 yards; Nunez 0-1-0, 0; (H) Lambert 12-27-4, 140.
RECEIVING: (M) Taylor 2-81; L.J. Collier 1-24; (H) River Hall 3-31; Marcus Connally 2-28; Blaze Thomas 2-27; Georges 2-27; Mathew Fields 1-13; Johnson 1-11; McIlwain 1-3.